Modern heat treatment technology is a triumph of engineering. Many industries depend on its applications to achieve precision manufacturing and drive production at scale. However, as David Byrne, CEO at Vacuum Furnace Engineering tells it, the secret to optimised performance is not sophisticated equipment but the people behind it.
Founded in 1985 in Halesowen, near Birmingham (UK), Vacuum Furnace Engineering (VFE) is a market-leading specialist in the provision of repair, overhaul and maintenance services to the heat treatment sector. It enables its customers to maximise their uptime, ensure industry compliance and get the most value out of their machines, whatever the make or manufacturer.
The heart of VFE’s business has always been its people, a focus which has earned it a global reputation for service excellence, dedicated customer support and outstanding expertise in the heat treatment market.
A culture of learning and development
“Over the years, we’ve invested significantly in the ongoing training and development of our teams,” David tells me. “Earlier this year, we opened a state-of-the-art training centre for continuous development, and we support employee development plans with a focus on training opportunities and management training programmes (MBA & MSc).”
The applications of the training centre extend beyond internal development. The facility has enabled VFE to share its extensive technical knowledge and expertise with its customers across a series of courses, so they get the most from their machines between services.
The company has long recognised that the quality of its services and the technical expertise of its staff set it apart and position it as a market leader.
“Today, VFE is recognised as having the largest team of skilled engineers in Western Europe.”
“As a result, we’re constantly looking to the future,” reveals David. This outlook is reflected in both VFE’s internal operations (most recently, its focus on product and service developments), as well as its UK market position as the go-to technical experts.
“Five of our people are currently enrolled on Engineering Apprenticeships, a programme designed to invest in the future of the business,” adds David, “and we maintain strategic relationships with a range of specialist and innovative supply partners and manufacturers around the world in order to deliver services and products at the forefront of the industry.”
Heat treatment services you can trust
The culture of trust and accountability that David and the team have fostered across VFE is more than words. Customer retention rates are high — approximately 80% over the last 20 years — demonstrating their success at delivering on this promise, building trust with their customers and forming lasting relationships.
“The advanced manufacturing industry needs to ensure quality in every process. VFE’s UKAS-accredited calibration services, alongside our excellence in service support, are just two examples of how we deliver this day after day. Compliance and safety are as important to us as they are to our customers.”
Today, VFE delivers a wide range of heat treatment products and services to the aviation, motorsport, pharmaceutical and heat treatment industries. It has widened its portfolio to counter changing market conditions and recent challenges to the aviation industry, but its investment in its people in the form of training and development plans remains unchanged.
“The integrity of our services is paramount,” explains David, “as is our ability to reassure our customers that they are in safe hands.”
“We make this happen because we’re committed to helping you deliver on your promises to your customers, to achieve perfect production and keep your business running.”
For more information about VFE or to enquire about the range of heat treatment products and services, get in touch by clicking the button below.